Unreal Game Review: Telltale’s The Walking Dead – No Time Left

Having the group take care of me for a change created an unusual dichotomy with the game’s characters. I spent the better part of four episodes taking care of everyone else, but now that I’m the one that needs help my relationship with the characters changed. I found everyone’s helpful attitude oddly unsettling as everyone was now treating me like a dead man walking. It was now me having outbursts, with everyone else trying to calm ME down. I finally understand what Kenny felt like; there’s nothing worse than a room full of nice and understanding people when you’re having a horrible day.

Sure, ask the bitten guy to walk across a sign above a herd of walkers. 

In fact a lot about Kenny became clearer in this episode. Much of his and Lee’s strained relationship came from the fact that fate, it seems, was one sided. If there was one person this particular apocalypse screwed over more than anyone else it was Kenny and it is that unfairness that made Kenny so difficult to deal with. But now that Lee is on Death’s short-list as well, Kenny finally stopped acting like a dick. Still, the game is no honeymoon. While it’s great that everyone is getting along it’s still the final episode in a piece of undead fiction, there’s almost certainly going to be a body count.

I have to admit there were times when I was thinking like a gamer. I was waiting to be rewarded for all of my dialogue work like I would have in a game like Mass Effect. Maybe a secret ending or some sort of plot twist. However, as the last chapter unfolded I realized that the only thing all of my hard work had done was make it harder to say goodbye to the ones that didn’t make it.

This final episode defines Lee’s quest for the entire series. It seems that despite his exhaustive efforts the group is no better off now than they were before, in fact most are dead now or worse. Lee is really getting dragged through the mud and his last chance at redemption is finding Clementine.

Do you know who I am?

Also, the game’s last remaining mystery, the stranger on the other end of the radio, is uncovered. It’s not at all what I thought it was going to be, to be honest. Without spoiling too much there’s a moment in which many of the player’s exploits throughout the game are read back to them, including things as far back as the first episode. Many of my actions which seemed rational at the time made me feel like a sadistic monster as they were read back as accusations; stabbing people with pitchforks, exiling Lily, using a little girl crawl into places I can’t get to. Well, when you put it all like that man.

I didn’t think that I could feel both satisfied and sad at the end of a game, but I did at the end of No Time Left. Part of me was truly happy with the game and the way it ended, but another part wished things were different. I’ll most likely go back and play it all through again with a new approach, but I doubt I’ll be able to save those that were lost the first time around. I picked-up the game a few months ago hoping for nothing more than a cool zombie game, but what I got was one of the most provocative and sophisticated games of a generation. And that’s not an overstatement.

  • clark

    couldn’t agree more. After episode 5, I am in a glass case of emotion

    ready for season 2.

  • Zach W

    I felt the same way about the ending as well. Unfortunately, you can’t save anyone that is lost in this episode.